Who, What, When, Where, Why





Joe and I have been married for 34 incredible years. We have lived in Calgary, Richmond, Langley and West Kelowna.

We have two perfect boys and two beautiful daughter-in laws; Jordan & Amy and Spencer & Lindsay. They all reside in Vancouver and enjoy rewarding careers. Our children encouraged us to follow our dream and never let us forget it. There were phone calls, visits, emails, gifts that included food and wine from all the countries we planned to visit, the perfect travel bag and accessories. Wait a minute! Seems now that they were trying to get rid of us – LOL??? All kidding aside, these four wonderful people that we call our own, also have a love of travel, fine food and wine. We are inspirations to each other. We love them dearly and will miss them deeply. We hope they will join us on one or two legs of our journey.


We also have an adorable chijuaua cross named Salsa that is the sweetest dog we know.




Joe and I have always loved to travel and have enjoyed vacations and road trips (with and without the kids) throughout Canada and the USA (including Hawaii), cruised the Netherlands, did the Mexican all-inclusive thing (enough times), and followed Jordan to Australia for Christmas in 2005. I discovered ‘apartment living’ as opposed to hotels, about 15 years ago. For us, it is the only way to go. More space, ability to eat in if desired and much cheaper than hotels.


Since our last visit to Europe in 2008, we knew we would be back. We loved each country we visited, every city we toured. So much history, so much beauty. We exclaimed “we should buy a condo here!” at each and every stop. They say if you throw one coin into Trevi Fountain in Rome that you will return. We knew we would.




Our original plan was to travel Europe for one year but then we learned about the Schengen Area which made that very difficult. Here is how that area works in a nutshell:


The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders, also referred to as internal borders. It mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. For non-Schengen citizens, (Canadians) you are allowed entry into the zone for 90 days within any 180 day period. These days don’t need to be consecutive – the total is cumulative. Once day 181 hits, the count resets itself.


Travel Visas are complicated to obtain in Europe so we will be going in and out of the Area a few times to stay within the rules. We also decided to include some Canada and US areas into the journey that we have not been to or not been to together. We are very excited to return to Quebec, where we spent our 25th anniversary in the fall of 2005. The colours were so spectacular, we wanted to return at the same time of year and are thrilled that we can.


(A side note….we originally booked our 25th anniversary in New Orleans. I had JUST finished making all the final arrangements when Hurricane Katrina hit. After we realized the devastation Louisana and it’s people had met, we thought we missed out on a chance of a lifetime to visit this amazing location. As fate has it, New Orleans is on our itinerary for December.)





The original start date on our adventure began as November 1 2014. Just a random date we, together with our kids, picked as a goal date. Then it moved to October 1, and finally it has settled to Sept 4 2014. The timing is around the weather, where we will be, and when. We tried to avoid packing winter clothes at all; just wind/water proof jackets and multiple layers. And very small suitcases. (Gasp!) What about the shoes!?!?






First 90 days
Vancouver, Chicago, New York, drive up the coast to Maine. Back into Canada (Quebec), Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Loisianna, and then over to Europe.


Next 90 days (Schengen)
Portugal, Spain, France (30 days in Paris).


Next 90 Days (out of Schengen Area)
Croatia, Molvania, Turkey, Russia, who knows!


Next 90 Days (back in Schengen Area)
Italy, (30 days in Rome) and beyond!






Why not? Because we can!


When Joe quite smoking in early 2013, it was the turning point for me. Joe suddenly had more energy, started working out and eating healthier. He felt better, and looked great! He had more free time. I didn’t have to wait for him to ‘grab a puff of fresh air’ in restaurants, airports and hotels. He suddenly became the perfect travelling companion. That, coupled with our discovery of the joy of hiking, pointed to one thing – the time was right. We were ready for an extended journey. We already shared the love of good food and great wine, of course each other’s company. We just had to find the courage to do it. And we did.